Not too long after we received news about (and analyzed) the Alexei Ponikarovsky signing, the Winnipeg Jets signed another forward, Olli Jokinen. Jokinen has a long, storied career of okay performance, a lot of shooting, and amusing caricatures (the list is long for this last: Dancing Olli, Fighting Olli, Eating Olli). Lured by a 2 year, $9 million contract, he enters the Jets fold late in his career, an adept filler for the top 6 that isn't quite ready to see prospects Mark Scheifele or Ivan Telegin. So, what kind of player is Mr. Jokinen?
Center / Winnipeg Jets
Dec 05, 1978 - Kuopio, Finland
|Season||Tm||GP||5v5 TOI||5v4||4v5||5v5 QoC||5v5 CRel||Z%||5v5 G/60||A/60||PTS/60|
As with the Ponikarovsky article, the first five metric columns are his rank among forward teammates with 20+ games played.
He's a bit different than Poni in regards to his performance; where Poni was impressively sound at 5v5 in Corsi Rel, Jokinen's a bit of a mixed bag. His offence is undeniable, though, as evidenced by his continued use on the powerplay and 5v5 scoring that would place him in consistently average 2nd-line forward territory. He's not the kind of guy you should lean on defensively, but with favorable zone starts and powerplay time he will produce for you; I'd suggest not thinking of him as a surefire top-line centre anymore. As for the powerplay, this is where he could really earn his chops:
|Season||Tm||GP||5v4 TOI||5v4 G/60||Lg Rk||5v4 PTS/60||Lg Rk|
After a couple of years broken between three organizations, Jokinen settled nicely into a top-line powerplay role with Calgary and resumed his powerplay form of the Florida years. Obviously, being paired with a talented sniper like Jarome Iginla could elevate the point totals of a guy like Jokinen, so there's a possibility that the same could happen with Evander Kane. One thing worth pointing out: initially, I was concerned that Jokinen would take away from Kane's shot volume if they were paired together, but the last two years suggest to me that he's settled into more of a playmaking role. As Derek indicated, the faceoffs are a bit of a problem, but it's not something to be devastated about.
As with Poni, then, we should ask the three questions: what's the damage, where does he fit, and was it worth it?
The damage is a little bit high for a guy who can't play all minutes and isn't quite a top-line forward anymore, but when it comes to overpays this one is tolerable because a.) the Jets need to meet the cap floor, and b.) Jokinen seems to have a logical fit in our forward lines...which leads to answering the next question. Here's where I see the best fit:
- Andrew Ladd --- Bryan Little --- Blake Wheeler
- Evander Kane --- Jokinen --- Alexander Burmistrov
- Poni --- Jim Slater --- Nik Antropov
- Antti Miettinen / Carl Klingberg / Ivan Telegin --- Patrice Cormier --- Spencer Machacek / Chris Thorburn